Monday, October 8, 2012

The Rest of the Story



Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out the same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to learn that his own son had been seriously wounded in the Army of the Potomac.

Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing. It was in this setting that Longfellow wrote these lines:


I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep.

"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men!"

Source:

Pulpit Helps, date unknown.



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